Homemade “Cream of” Soups

IMG_0268

Like me, you’ve probably been depending on “cream of” (fill in: mushroom, chicken, celery, cheese…) canned soups your entire adult life.  After all, they are the basis of every simple family recipe, casserole or gravy known to mankind right?  When Bill and I got married and 6 little children started depending on me for food, I turned to these little cans of convenience to save me in the kitchen.  Casseroles (my family’s favorites are tuna and tater-tot), pork roast gravy, chicken enchiladas and so the list goes.  I’m convinced I couldn’t have gotten through those years without them.

Then one day I started reading labels and focusing on the ingredients in the foods I was serving my family.  I always say that “knowledge is power”…unfortunately, my newly acquired knowledge made it impossible for me to continue using “cream of” soups in the name of simplicity and frugality.  I had no choice but to begin creating my own recipes with the simplest ingredients I could find.   Let’s take a look at the contents of one brand, just in case you are on the fence about this:

Campbell’s Classic Cream of Mushroom Soup Ingredients

INGREDIENTS: WATER, MUSHROOMS, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA, AND/OR SOYBEAN), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, DEHYDRATED CREAM (CREAM [MILK], SOY LECITHIN), YEAST EXTRACT, FLAVORING, DEHYDRATED GARLIC. 

There are 6 grams of fat per ½ cup condensed soup.  Campbell’s does offer lower fat, healthier alternatives, but I’m still concerned about the MSG and sodium content. One serving has 843 grams of sodium and the daily recommendation is 2300 grams or 1 teaspoon.  Here’s an interesting article from the FDA about recommended daily intake and lowering salt in our diets.

Now a little information about MSG from the FDA.  “Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions.”

All studies aside, I find it gives me indigestion…what about you?  So try my recipe, a simple, healthy “cream of” option which takes a little pre-planning, but is definitely worth it!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • ½ cup mushrooms, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove chopped finely
  • 2 tsp light olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Garlic granules, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 2-3 T corn starch

Sauté mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil and/or butter.  Add seasonings to taste.  Stir corn starch into milk and whisk until there are no lumps.  Pour into mushroom mixture; stir and heat until desired thickness is achieved.

Cream of Chicken Soup

  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp light olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Garlic granules, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2-3 T corn starch

Sauté garlic in the olive oil and butter.  Add seasonings to taste.  Stir corn starch into cold milk and whisk until there are no lumps.  Pour into sautéed garlic; stir and heat until desired thickness is achieved.  Use in recipes.

Note

If you want more flavor in your “cream of” soup recipes, here’s a link to a natural chicken base.

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Homemade “Cream of” Soups

  1. Love this! I used to be a ‘cream of’ regular, but ignorance isn’t bliss 😉 thanks for the recipes!

    A

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s